LIAN SHENGDE: Biographical Profile
Lian Shengde was born in the City of Chengdu in November of 1968. Chengdu, which is located in the Southwest region of the communist People¡¯s republic of China (PRC), is a major industrial city and the capital of Sichuan (or Szechwan) Province.
As a native of Mainland China, Mr. Lian grew under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Fundamental rights, such as the freedom of speech, press, assembly, habeas corpus, travel, and elections, which are enjoyed by citizens of free nations, are denied to the peoples of mainland China. The Chinese Communist Party took control of Mainland China in 1949 under the command of Chairman Mao Zedong after winning a civil war against the government of Republic of China.
Since 1949, millions of Chinese people have been murdered and have had to face many forms of persecution and tortures by the Chinese Communist Party and its government.
In 1987, Mr. Lian entered the Civil Aviation University of china (CAUC) as a computer science major. CAUC is located in the city of Tianjin, which is about 80 miles southeast of Beijing and one of the few largest Industry cities in China. As the Chairman of the official CAUC Student Association, Lian began to organize various research forums on China¡¯s problems and future.
The events that led to the Tiananmen Square massacre of June 1989 were sparked by the death of the then second most powerful man in China next to Deng Xiaoping. After the death of former CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang in April 9,1989, Lian organized unofficial memorial services along with other student activists across China. The activities in Beijing and Tianjin were closely coordinated via special channels. He became a leader at the university because of his organizing abilities and sense of moral responsibility.
Soon following an April 26th editorial in the People¡¯s Daily (the official propaganda newspaper of the Communist Party and the most powerful newspaper in China) characterizing the student movement since Chinese leader Hu Yaobang¡¯s death was in a state of ¡®¡±Social Chaos¡±. Many students, including Lian, were outraged by this definition from the government because they believed they were only asking the government to promote political reform officially advocated by the Chinese Communist Party and Deng Xiaoping.
These reforms included free speech, correct treatment toward the movement, elimination of corruption within the communist Party and the government, and the de-centralization of political power from the central government in Beijing to the provincial and local governments.
In May 1989,Beijing area students began to congregate in Tiananmen Square, an historic area in downtown Beijing near the national government center. Soon, more and more students from Universities outside of Beijing started to stream in Tiananmen Square to support. Student leaders of the various universities outside of Beijing established a formal union to coordinate with students from Beijing, the ¡°Hunger Strike Group¡± and supporters from all walks of society.
Lian was democratically elected as the Commander-General or Chairman of the Autonomous Federation of Universities outside Beijing and Vice-Commander-General of the First Commanding Headquarters in late May by representatives from 192 Universities nationwide. He was in charge of moving more than 3000 students participating in a hunger strike to hospitals, buses, and museums to avoid any possible death of students on May 18th and change the movement from hunger strike to massive sit-ins.
From May19-25, Lian led the First Commanding Headquarters in organizing and coordination students, workers and other citizens to block the advance of heavily armed People¡¯s Liberation Army coming from all Beijing suburbs. On May 25th, student leader Chai Ling and Li Lu from the Hunger Strike Group took control over the Tiananmen Square Headquarter. Lian was chosen by the Chinese Government to represent the students in negotiations on the conditions for withdrawal of the pro-democracy demonstrations from Tian An Men Square and open up the dialogue channel.
Lian stayed for several days in Beijing after the June 4th Massacre with the killing of hundreds or even thousands of peaceful demonstrators by the army. He organized the effort to take photos, collecting witness and send his people out of Beijing to tell the nation the truth of the massacre.
On June 9th, 1989, Lian was arrested by the Chinese Public Security Bureau of Tianjin with several of his followers and bodyguards on the way south to mobilize more protests. He was then detained in the notorious political Prison--Qingchen Prison in the northern suburb of Beijing along with 200 other students. He was formally charged with two counts of ¡°crimes¡±: ¡°Assembling masses to disturb traffic orders¡± and ¡°Counter-revolutionary propaganda and instigation¡±. Lian was formally arrested a year after his detention. Subsequently, on January 3, 1991, the Beijing judicial office decided to drop the punishment for his ¡°criminal acts¡± and he was released due to the strong international pressure.
Along with several others, Lian founded the Party for Freedom and Democracy in China (PFDC) within the borders of the People¡¯s Republic of China in 1991 in Beijing after its initial formation by a group of Chinese dissidents in Columbus, Ohio in 1990. Dr. Hu Shigen, the Chairman of the Beijing based PFDC, is currently serving 20 years in prison for criticizing the PRC Government human right¡¯s white paper.
Lian departed China on September 1994 and immigrated to the United States. He attended Harvard
University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and studies English and Economics. Lian currently attends George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia as a graduate student in Computer Science and resides in Herndon, Virginia with his wife and newborn son. He is working as a computer System Engineer in a large private Company in USA.
Lian is one of the few dissident leaders who are still sticking to the ideals of freedom and democracy and is dedicating his own earnings to this cause. He helped to found the Free China Movement coalition in June 1998 in Capital Hill along with representatives from other 30 pro-democracy organizations around the world in the effort to urge people to work together for a free China. He was elected executive director and spokesperson of Free China Movement on the Unity Conference in 1998.